Monday, September 24, 2007

Educational choice opponents have some splainin to do

Martin nails it.


Back in May when I had lunch with Karl Dean I asked him why he sent his children to non-public schools.   I had hoped the question would begin a thoughtful discussion with respect to fundamental education reform.  His answer, that there was a family tradition on his wife's side, was fundamentally dishonest.   A family tradition might explain why one would choose a particular school once the decision is made to opt out of the public school system.  But at $20,000 a pop for tuition, one doesn't choose a school in order to maintain some family tradition when an equivalent option is available for free.  Karl Dean did not believe there was an equivalent option.  He, like most parents who send their kids to private schools, believed that their school was better.  The Deans knew that the student body at the private school would be different than the student body at a public school.   The family incomes would be higher.  The educational backgrounds of the parents would be more impressive.  He, like all consumers of private education, was buying a school and the whole network.